Nebraska workers’ compensation insurance
Workers' compensation insurance covers the cost of work-related injuries. It's required for all Nebraska businesses that have employees, including part-time workers.
Who needs workers’ comp insurance in Nebraska?
The law applies to virtually all employees, including those:
- Working in private industry
- Employed in state and local government
- Who are minors
- Employed by charitable organizations
A limited number of employee types are exempt from coverage. They include:
- Federal employees
- Railroad employees
- Most volunteers
Household domestic employees and some workers in agriculture are also exempt but can be covered at the employer’s discretion.
In Nebraska, employees must file a workers’ comp claim within two years from the injury or illness date.
Do Nebraska business owners need to carry workers’ compensation?
It depends on the type of business you operate. Here’s how the rules of the Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Court work:
- Sole proprietors, partners, and limited liability company (LLC) members are exempt from buying workers’ comp insurance for themselves. However, they may purchase coverage if desired. This can be a smart decision since health insurance providers can deny claims for work-related injuries.
- Executive officers of state corporations who hold 25% or more of their firm’s common stock aren’t considered employees and thus are exempt from workers’ comp coverage. Executive officers who want to elect workers’ comp protection must notify their insurance company and inform the entity’s corporate secretary.
- Executive officers of nonprofit corporations in the state who earn $1,000 or less from their work for the corporation are also exempt.
Are independent contractors required to have workers’ comp coverage in Nebraska?
Nebraska employers are not required to provide workers’ comp for independent contractors.
However, it’s important to make sure independent contractors are properly classified. While the Nebraska workers' comp statute does not define “independent contractor,” case law offers several factors to consider when making this determination on a case-by-case basis.
Furthermore, the Nebraska Supreme Court applies a 10-factor test, with no single factor being determinative.
How much does workers' compensation coverage cost in Nebraska?
How does workers’ compensation work in Nebraska?
Workers' compensation covers medical expenses related to workplace injuries and occupational diseases. It can pay for doctor's appointments, medications, and all other medical care related to the injury.
It also provides partial wages while an injured worker recovers, usually equal to two-thirds of their average weekly wage.
Workers' compensation benefits in Nebraska include:
- Medical benefits
- Total disability benefits
- Partial disability benefits
- Permanent impairment benefits
- Vocational rehabilitation
For example, if an IT tech or software developer is diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome due to keyboard overuse, your workers' comp policy would pay for their medical expenses, including long-term medication and physical therapy.
Or, if an employee at your IT consulting firm trips in the office stairwell and suffers a concussion, then your workers' comp policy would pay for their ambulance ride and emergency room visit.
Policies usually include employer's liability insurance, which pays for legal expenses if an employee blames their employer for an injury. However, under the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Act, an employee forfeits their right to sue their employer over an injury or disease once they accept benefits.
How is workers' compensation purchased in Nebraska?
Nebraska business owners can compare quotes and purchase a policy from private insurance companies. TechInsurance offers this service with its online insurance marketplace.
If your firm’s high-risk status makes it impossible to purchase workers’ comp insurance through the voluntary market mentioned above, you can purchase coverage from the Nebraska assigned risk pool. Travelers Indemnity Company manages Nebraska’s Assigned Risk Plan, serving as the state’s workers’ comp provider of last resort.
The final way to secure workers’ compensation insurance is to self-insure your workers’ comp claims. This means your company will pay for its own workers’ comp claims rather than submit them to an insurance company.
To become self-insured, you must first file an application with the Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Court. Once approved, a self-insurer must submit a surety bond and evidence of having excess insurance with the Workers’ Compensation Court.
What are the penalties for not having workers’ comp in Nebraska?
The State of Nebraska takes workers’ compensation seriously. If you fail to comply with the law, you may face one or more of the following penalties:
- A civil fine of up to $1,000 for each violation. Each additional day of noncompliance will be treated as a separate violation
- Imprisonment for up to one year, a $1,000 fine, or both
- The revocation of your company’s ability to do business in the state
Also, an injured employee may sue you for damages in district court, an action in which the employer will lose its common law defenses.
Workers’ compensation settlements in Nebraska
In Nebraska, many workers’ comp claims end in settlements. This means the parties involved in the case – the injured employee, the company, and the insurer – must agree on a lump-sum payment amount. In exchange, the employee (or the employee’s survivors) must agree to the insurer stopping future benefit payments.
Employees who wish to enter into an agreement to take a lump-sum payment in lieu of future benefits must file an application with the Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Court.
Get free quotes and compare policies with TechInsurance
If you are ready to explore workers’ compensation coverage options for your Nebraska business, TechInsurance can help small business owners compare business insurance policy quotes with one easy online application. Start an application today to find the right insurance coverage at the most affordable price for your business.